Drive Help Pages
3. I have just installed a new hard drive
into my system. It shows in the BIOS but windows doesn't show
it at all what should I do?
When new hard drives are shipped then they come without
being formatted at all. In order for windows to see them they
need to have 2 preparation stages done to them.
The first is a program called FDISK. It is
best used after booting to dos with a floppy. The program
is stored in C:\Windows\Command. If you copy the file to a
floppy and run it from the floppy (type FDISK at the A> prompt)then
you will find that depending on which version you have it
will first ask the question "enable large disk support". This
is to support hard drives larger than 2 GB as a single drive.
Assuming your drive to be larger than 2GB then you should
choose Y for yes. This brings up the main screen with either
4 or 5 menu options on it. If you only have one hard drive
you will get the 4 options as option 5 is to change the current
fixed disk. Before proceeding make sure that you have the
correct drive selected (option 4 will display information
on the current drive and if it is a new drive then selecting
this option will show "no partitions defined"). Choose option
1 to "Create partition or logical dos drive". Next menu will
appear and option 1 is the choice to "Create primary dos partition".
When asked if you want to use the full size and make the partition
active you should choose yes. FDISK will then partition the
drive and you will need to exit and reboot for changes to
Once rebooted you will need to format the
drive to use it which can be done either under dos (boot to
dos and use the format command in the form FORMAT D: - make
sure you choose the correct drive to format otherwise you
will lose all data on that drive.) or under windows (double
click My Computer, right click on the new drive and choose
Format from the popup menu). The windows option is both quicker
and safer since if you have more than one drive and you choose
the wrong drive letter in the format command you will lose
all your existing data.